New national laws for co-ops                                 
 
Fair trading enquiries
13 32 20
 

Annual fee changes from July 1 2015

New licensing fees apply from 1 July 2015.

The new fees are part of our annual fee update, reflecting an increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 1.71% as released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Further information on the new fees can be found on Fair Trading's website on 1 July 2015.

 

Odometer tampering greater transparency requirements and tougher penalties  

Prescribed forms
The Motor Dealer and Repairers Act 2013 (the Act) has established an even tougher regulatory approach to odometer tampering, doubling fines to $22,000. Under the new disclosure requirements, dealers must inform customers prior to the sale, about the history of the vehicle they are looking to buy including any major modifications, past flood or hail damage, if the vehicle has previously been written-off or whether there is any suspicion of odometer tampering.

D
ealers and repairers must be vigilant about the accuracy of an odometer reading especially for the sale of imported cars. These simple checks could protect you or your business from trading in a vehicle that may have had the odometer illegally tampered with:
  1. Check the visual wear and tear of the vehicle's interior (e.g the car seats, seatbelts) and exterior is consistent with the odometer reading.
  2. Request the owner to provide you with a service history (ie. owner's manual or log book) or the details of the dealer the car was purchased from and the repairer details so this history can be obtained.
  3. Check to see if the instrument cluster has been removed or tampered with.
  4. Check vehicle service stickers or decals, lube stickers on the vehicle and whether the there is a timing belt replacement sticker in the engine bay.

A wound back odometer has more impact on a consumer than being ripped off. It is likely to create a false expectation about the condition of the vehicle and lead the consumer to underestimate the vehicle’s maintenance requirements. 

Our compliance work in responding to complaints, conducting industry inspections and collaborative work with agencies including the NSW Police and the Roads and Maritime Service, helps us to identify the dodgy operators causing the greatest consumer harm.

Fair Trading's commitment to reducing the number of repeat offenders and deterring others from engaging in these criminal acts is demonstrated by our recent successful prosecutions. This year, several individuals have been convicted for various breaches under the former Act and the Crimes Act 1900.

In January 2015, Mr Christopher Andrew Gilbert was found guilty of selling 11 separate cars he had purchased at auction, online or by private sale which he registered in his own and his parents' names. He then swapped the number plates and arranged for the odometer readings to be reduced and a false service history created for each car. He was fined $2,000, ordered to pay $70,000 in compensation to his victims and must complete 500 hours of community service. Read more about Mr Gilbert here.

In February, following a severity appeal in the District Court, Mr Son Giang Tran Nguyen was fined $2,000 and ordered to pay over $57,000 in compensation for offences including fraud, dishonestly and deceptively obtaining financial advantage and using false documents. The Local Court judgement handed down a sentence of imprisonment, which was upheld by the District Court to be served by way of an Intensive Correction Order.

In May 2015, three Sydney men – Mounzer Mohamed Hamed, Ahmad Hamed and Bilal Ali Hawchar have pleaded guilty to odometer tampering in the Parramatta Local Court and paid a total of $67,812 in compensation. In addition, Mounzer Mohamad Hamed has been ordered to perform 500 hours of community service and Bilal Ali Hawchar has been ordered to perform 200 hours of community service. Find about more in our media release

 

Register here to learn about industry changes

Wheel

Fair Trading delivers free information seminars for both motor dealers and repairers. Encourage your staff to attend our seminars and help them  stay up to date with their rights and responsibilities under the Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013. Register on our Events page for a seminar in your local area.

 

Next edition Dealing with complaints

Odometer
The changes to Motor Vehicle laws introduced on 1 December 2014 help industry operators reduce their business risks as the new requirements encourage greater transparency and a fairer marketplace. While customer complaints may never be far away, our services could help the way you deal with them. Find out how in our August edition.
 

Have questions or feedback? We'd like to hear from you

Spark plug
Email us to provide us with your comments about the new motor industry laws to autotorque@finance.nsw.gov.au

 
fairtrading.nsw.gov.au